Dorr (1805-1854), a young lawyer of Providence, began a systematic campaign for an extension of the suffrage, a reapportionment of representation and the establishment of an independent judiciary.
At an election held on the 18th of April 1842 Dorr was chosen governor.
The supreme court of the state and the president of the United States (Tyler) both refused to recognize the validity of the People's Constitution, whereupon Dorr and a few of his more zealous adherents decided to organize a rebellion.
They were easily repulsed in an attack upon the Providence town arsenal, and Dorr, after a brief period of exile in Connecticut, was convicted of high treason on the 26th of April 1844, and was sentenced to imprisonment for life.
Mowry, The Dorr War; or the Constitutional Struggle in Rhode Island (Providence, 1901); Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation, 1636-1792 (io vols., Providence, 1856-65); Rhode Island Historical Society, Collections (to vols., to be continued, Providence, 1827-1902); Proceedings and Publications, 23 numbers (Providence, 1872-1902, to be continued).
1 Jackson was a Liberation Whig - favouring the liberation of Dorr from prison - but he was elected on the Democratic ticket.